Buxton Fire Brigade

100% Volunteer

Operational Firefighters

Operational members initially undergo a specialist course of training to become qualified as General Firefighters and can progress to Structural Firefighters. Structural Firefighting involves defensive operations in the first instance followed by further training to operate in an aggressive internal (offensive) environment. All our training is aligned to National Training Competencies under the Public Safety Training Package.

All operational members complete a minimum level of skills maintenance. The brigade trains all year – weekly over summer and monthly in winter.

Bushfire Firefighters

CFA’s initial training, known as General Firefighter, is centred on the Unit of Competency PUAFIR204 - Respond to Wildfire. This unit of competency involves the skills and knowledge required to respond to a bushfire, work as a safe and situationally aware member of a crew to attack and extinguish a fire, participate in mop ups and patrol operations and prepare equipment for the next crew.

The unit applies to firefighting personnel who work as a member of a team. It includes preparing to respond to fire; proceeding to fire; obtaining and using firefighting equipment and extinguishing media; combating wildfire; observing and reacting to wildfire and weather conditions; participating in mop up and patrol activities; supporting operations and recovering and storing equipment. Work at this level is undertaken under direct supervision, and with instruction.

After completing an orientation session, members are measured for their Bushfire Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) and are issued their PPC, inclusive of Level 2 General Purpose Boots, before commencing training.

The General Firefighter training is offered in a range of flexible environments including face-to-face, virtual classroom and (shortly) online self-paced learning. Members are required to complete a series of skill drills at the brigade under the guidance of endorsed GFF trainers. A formal assessment is undertaken at the end of the training to cover both the theory and practical aspects of the training package. Once complete, members are able to respond to incidents and must undertake annual skills maintenance – inclusive of a Bushfire Entrapment Drill each year.

All our members are required to have this level of training and while those skills obviously come to play during the hotter parts of the year, we rely very heavily on all our members all year round; the skills obtained at this level are very important in supporting all the work we do to protect the community. General Firefighting skills support all levels of our operations.

Isolated Structure Firefighting

Following completion of the General Firefighter program, members are able to progress to other areas of specialist training including the Low Structure program which is centred on the Unit of Competency PUAFIR220 - Respond to Isolated Structure Fire. This unit of competency involves the skills and knowledge required to respond to an isolated structure fire when working as a member of a team under direct supervision.

This training includes defensive external structural firefighting such as how to attack a fire from outside a structure and protect exposures. It does not cover offensive firefighting (internal attack within a structure) or how to deal with fires involving dangerous goods and/or hazardous chemicals.

An isolated structure refers to a free standing building or manmade construction, such as a homestead or farm machinery shed. With an isolated structure, the possibility of fire spread between the structure itself and other structures or property not directly involved in the fire is generally low. Members who complete this competency are issued Structural PPC.

The unit applies to personnel working in rural and/or urban interface areas and rural communities who are often required to respond to structure fires and to support asset protection. An individual operating in this context will perform this role under the direct supervision of a crew leader or an officer in charge.

Structural Firefighters

As a brigade issued with Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus, it is very important that the brigade maintains a number of members with Structure Firefighting skills. The Structure Firefighter course is centred on the Unit of Competency PUAFIR203 - Respond to urban fire.

This unit of competency involves the skills and knowledge required to respond to a structure fire where offensive and defensive strategies are used. It includes proceeding to a fire, preparing extinguishing media and/or equipment for use, entering a structure, conducting search and rescues and combatting fires. The unit applies to firefighting personnel who work as a member of a team, under direct supervision. Work at this level is undertaken under direct supervision, and with instruction.

Responding to structure fires requires a range of skills and it isn’t just those members who are trained for internal operations in a structure. There are many tasks to be undertaken around and away from a structure that we rely on our other operational members to undertake; this could be simply operating the firefighting appliance, assisting with hose lines up to the building, or undertaking safety roles on the incident ground.

Members are able to commence training on Breathing Apparatus at any point after completing their General Firefighter qualification but are restricted to external operations such as car fires and rubbish fires.

Other Incidents

Buxton Fire Brigade, as with all of CFA, is an All Hazards operation. We respond to a wide range of incidents in and around Buxton but also in support of neighbouring brigades and the Alexandra Group of Brigades.

The brigade deals with incidents on the Cathedral Range where we work with the specialist high angle and steep angle rescue units from Marysville SES, Yea CFA, Monbulk CFA and Rescue Victoria. We attend motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies in support of SES, Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria. The brigade is active all year round – 24hrs a day.

Crew Leader and Specialist Roles

As members gain experience, they are able to progress to a wide range of specialist training inclusive of leadership skills. The first of the leadership skills is the Crew Leader course but there are many others. Members who wish to progress to internal firefighting need to become competent in the use of Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus.

Other specialist training that most members undertake includes Chainsaw Operator, Hazardous Material Awareness and Low Voltage Fuse Removal.

Other specialist skills held by members of our brigade include Incident Management roles such as Strike Team Leader and Logistic Management.

Again, the range of specialist roles is wide ranging and only limited by an individual member’s commitment, interest, and passion.

Interested? Head to Recruiting on the Contact Us page for details about joining.